The Citrix Synergy 2012 conference began Wednesday in San Francisco with a flurry of announcements, focusing on mobile workstyles and cloud services.
Path to the Cloud
Focusing its cloud platform strategy on the CloudStack platform, Citrix (CTXS) is trying to make it easier for customers of any size to create true, Amazon-style clouds. To bring the power of Apache CloudStack to its extensive enterprise and service provider customer base, Citrix unveiled Citrix CloudPlatform, powered by Apache CloudStack. With the new commercial release, customers can quickly evolve virtualized data center resources to automated, elastic, self-service IT delivery model. New features in the CloudPlatform include built-in Amazon API compatibility, a software defined networking (SDN) controller, and project Avalon integrations, which was also announced at the conference.
The second element of the Citrix "Path to the Cloud" strategy is focused on making it easy for enterprises to connect their data centers and private clouds to external, third-party cloud services. Citrix announced CloudBridge 2, an upgrade with one-click provisioning and a self-service catalog of popular public clouds. Customers can also add new clouds to the CloudBridge service catalog as needed. Available in June 2012 it will build upon the Netscaler-based platform and provide secure, optimized connectivity between enterprises private clouds to a number of public cloud providers, such as Softlayer, Amazon and others.
The third pillar in its cloud strategy is the recently announced Netscaler 10 for Amazon Web Services. Citrix released a tech preview Wednesday. Using the new TriScale technology, NetScaler helps businesses of any size scale their networks “up, in and out” with ease, just like the world’s largest public clouds.
Citrix announced Project Avalon, the next phase in the evolution to transform any Windows application or desktop into a cloud service delivered across any network, to any device. Project Avalon is a highly optimized and tuned integration of XenDesktop and CloudStack that enables multi-tenant deployment across multiple locations and multiple clouds. Avalon orchestrates and manages applications and desktops, manages technology transitions without taxing IT resources and delivers a secure, cost-effective personalized workspace to every user.
“Project Avalon brings together the openness and innovation of Citrix CloudPlatform, our experience and growing momentum with Citrix Service Providers and our track record of leadership in desktop virtualization, to transform the delivery of Windows desktops and applications into a service across private and public clouds," said Bob Schultz, Group Vice President and General Manager, Desktops and Applications at Citrix. "Enterprises gain the operational efficiencies of a cloud infrastructure and ability to flex into public clouds for capacity on demand. Service providers gain the ability to manage multiple tenants, in multiple sites across multiple clouds as a single entity. Both gain the flexibility to mix, match and migrate technology elements as their business needs evolve. With Project Avalon, Citrix customers have a clear path now to move ahead from today’s desktop virtualization investment into tomorrow’s cloud deployments.”
Citrix acquires Virtual Computer
Citrix announced the acquisition of Virtual Computer, provider of enterprise-scale management solutions for client-side virtualization. Citrix will combine Virtual Computer technology with it XenClient hypervisor to create the new Citrix XenClient Enterprise edition. "We have seen a tremendous amount of success with XenClient in our customer base, enabling enterprises to extend the benefits of virtual desktops to mobile workers," said Mitch Parker, Group Vice President and General Manager, Client Virtualization at Citrix. "These customers are looking to take their virtual desktop deployments even further, and with the acquisition of Virtual Computer, we are able to rapidly accelerate innovation in client virtualization. This will lead to more highly-scalable centralized management, a high-performance user experience, and tighter integration with XenDesktop, which will help customers deliver virtual desktops to mobile workers.”
Mobile Enterprise Strategy
Citrix unveiled the next phase of its strategy to enable the mobile enterprise. Citrix announced GoToMeeting HDFaces for the iPad and a new GoToAssist for mobile devices. Citrix Receiver, a universal software client, is available on more than two billion PCs, Macs, thin clients, tablets and smartphones worldwide.
Citrix announced CloudGateway 2, a new update to its enterprise mobility solution that adds extensive mobile application management capabilities, including full support for native HTML 5, iOS and Android apps.
“The trend toward mobile workstyles and BYOD is here today and gaining momentum," said Scott Schwarzhoff, Vice President of Product marketing, Receiver and Gateways at Citrix. "With millions of new mobile and employee-owned devices coming into the enterprise, companies are challenged to develop strategies to manage this device chaos. Only an end-to-end solution that separates work content from personal content and brings security and manageability down to the application and data level – a missing piece in today’s point solutions – can enable employee productivity and allow enterprises to support a mobile workforce while maintaining the right levels of security and control.”
The conference runs through today, and can be followed on twitter at #citrixsynergy